Armored Core V Reviews

  • WorhammerWorhammer328,652
    02 May 2012 02 May 2012
    7 1 2
    If you enjoy the Armored Core series, you will love this game. If you enjoy mech games, this is another in a long-standing fast paced (as opposed to more strategic, like Chromehounds) mech battle game.

    Let me say first off that I am somewhat biased towards this genre. I have always loved anything with giant robots, be it Anime or Video Games. My first Armored Core game was AC2 on the PS2, and once I played that I decided I had to play them all. I went out and bought the earlier ones and I've played every one since.

    Armored Core V is a bit of a departure from other AC games in that it's taken to the MMO-style of play. You will be unable to access a good deal of the content unless you are playing online. If you play offline, all you get is the story and order missions; which is really only half the game (and 1/3 of the fun in my eyes....)

    So we'll start there. The story mode starts out like your typical Tarantino movie; in the middle. As soon as you put the game in you'll be greeted with a strange and somewhat unintelligible cutscene that won't make much sense. Then you'll be thrust into a battle you can't win. Congratulations! I think....

    After that, you'll be thrown back to the start menu and asked to join a team. I found myself sitting in my comfy argo chair asking "What the eff was that?!?" for about 5 minutes before I moved on.

    Don't worry, though, it doesn't get any less confusing. You can begin doing the story from the REAL beginning at this point. There are a total of 9 story missions which have little to no connecting thread, bad acting, and even worse writing. But that's not why you're playing this game, is it? Quite honestly, I have never played any Armored Core game for the story. I've always played them to fly around in my giant mech blowing other giant mechs up. There is no shortage of that. At some point you'll find yourself back where you started, except this time you're supposed to win the battle.

    The Order Missions are no different. I have played through all of them 2 or 3 times and I still am not sure how they fit in to the story. Do they take place before the story? During the story? They certainly can't take place AFTER the story because of certain events which I won't spoil. Perhaps they take place in an alternate universe? I'm still not sure.

    Well, now that the "story" if it could be called that is out of the way, on to the real fun; the multiplayer.

    I mentioned earlier that you will be asked to join a team. You can form your own, but unless you have a good group of friends to play with you it won't be much fun. The bulk of the multiplayer is fighting over control of territories. You do this by either defending your own territory in a 4 V 4 battle to either destroy the defending team (or complete an objective, you can choose to do either as a victory condition) or on the defensive side you can either destroy the attacking team or just protect your property for 10 minutes.

    This is where the game really shines. I found myself having a lot of fun working with my team to destroy or defend. There will be times where you just grind for "Points" to be able to attack other teams' territories, but this also serves the dual purpose of lowering the health of a territory and forcing other teams to defend their territories; and possibly lose them to you.

    Sound confusing? It will be at first, but it gets pretty simple once you understand the basic mechanics.

    There is also the option to free battle. There are 3 different free battle modes; Team, FFA, and one on one. This way allows you to fight other mechs without sacrificing your territories and work on your strategies and teamwork without risking anything important.

    The graphics for the game are superb. I found myself watching the first cutscene and trying to figure out what was CGI and what wasn't. The amount of visual customization you can do to your mech is absolutely amazing. You can also make custom emblems that are surprisingly unique. I myself managed to recreate Domon Kasshu's King of Hearts symbol with surprising accuracy. It took me almost 5 hours but it was worth it. I then proceeded to get my mech to look as close to his as possible. A bit nerdy, yes, but I never claimed to be anything else.

    Speaking of customization, I feel like there could've been a greater variety in actual mech parts. There are only about five or six weapons in each weapon category, leaving you with slightly less than 100 unique weapons. That might sound like a lot, but once you get in and really try to create a mech of your own with which to destroy other people, you will find that there are really less than ten acceptable combinations if you want to be competitive.

    The sound for the game is just as good, apart from the voice acting. The music and battle sounds are perfect. Unfortunately, like your typical Japanese game (or anime) the English voice-overs are poor. Some day we'll have the option to leave the original Japanese voices in the game and I'll be happy.

    The controls are spot-on. I never found myself running into issues with accuracy of control or not knowing what buttons to press. At first you might find you need a third hand to play the game, but you'll adapt rather quickly if you are used to playing action style games.

    My one gripe (and it's a huge one, forcing me to give the game a 4 instead of a 4.5) is that for the first two weeks the game at prime time became unplayable. You would spend three to five or sometimes even ten minutes after doing ANYTHING, be it changing screens to customize your mech, doing one story or order mission, or fighting for territory. It's been mostly fixed but there will be times where you will still find yourself waiting for a minute or three after returning from battle.

    If you don't like what you've read so far, this game probably isn't for you. It doesn't revolutionize the Big Robot Fight genre, but then again it wasn't really trying to. This game is another satisfying entry in a long line of well-known mech games. It not only lives up to expectations set by its predecessors, but exceeds them.

    Overview:
    Visual: 5 / 5
    Great graphics. No slow-down, amazing cutscenes, and the mechs look awesome.

    Sound: 4 / 5
    Poor voice acting mars an otherwise impeccable example of how games should sound.

    Controls: 5 / 5
    No complaints here. Takes a bit of adjusting to learning how to effectively use all your abilities, but given how much is crammed into 8 buttons that's no surprise.

    Achievements: 2 / 5
    Unnecessary "limited" achievements in the form of rare boss battles. You will only be able to fight these five special bosses for three days every so often. My personal opinion is one weekend per month, but I can't confirm that just yet. The other achievements are challenging but obtainable given practice and persistence.

    Fun Factor & Replay Value: 5 / 5
    Thanks to a lively online community, this game looks to be fun and populated for years to come. If you've been looking for a mech fighting home since Chromehounds got shut down, this just might be the place for you.
    4.0
    Showing both comments.
    Golgo28well written review.You got your opinion across in a easy to grasp manner.You broke down the ins and outs of the game.Allowing people to make a well informed decision as to wether or not to get this game.Good job.
    Posted by Golgo28 on 02 May 12 at 03:50
    WorhammerThanks. Appreciate the feedback =]
    Posted by Worhammer on 02 May 12 at 04:34
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